The Death of a Chicken

Well, so far I have been having great success keeping my chickens alive. I did loose a few chicks in the very beginning and a little later an older chicken when it was crushed by the other chicks. This is the first time I have lost a chicken to a predator. Well, that’s not entirely true. My first set of chickens that I had a few years ago where taken away one night by a coyote.  At least that is what I think took them away. My dog also killed one of our young roosters because it drove her crazy.This time around I was taking extra care to make sure no one was going to be carried off in the middle of the night or killed by our dog.
So, the other morning one of my  6 month old White Rock hens was found half eaten still in the coop. I thought at first she was just too close to the fence or something and maybe a raccoon got her but then my husband pointed out that it looked like the struggle started within the coop. He then said the dreaded words, “A weasel probably got her.” Oh no! I can handle keeping things from getting into the coop that are large but a weasel can pretty much get through anything.

American Mink

They can easily get through the standard chicken wire and being nocturnal they often times hunt for food at night. I have seen weasels during the middle of the day so I know they are not limited to just night time activity.

I did make things a little more secure and made them a better place for roosting so I am hoping that will help.
Since this is my first weasel attack I need to do research to find out ways to keep this from happening again. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Loren Sztajer

Update: Well, it’s not a weasel getting the chickens. I lost two more hens and I rooster to what I believe to be a raccoon. My setup is not as secure as I thought it was. The sad part is I lost my favorite rooster. He was so beautiful. Oh well, that’s the way things are. I did save some of the eggs fertilized by the rooster who was killed so maybe he will have a son as pretty as he was. So now to figure out how to keep the coons from killing my chickens. I think it’s going to be difficult now they they have had four of my chickens for dinner.

One Response to “The Death of a Chicken”

  • mariegiguere:

    If your hen was only half eaten, it probably wasn’t a racoon but more something like a skunk. Racoons eat chickens, but skunks only kill for fun. They are known to bleed your hens and then leave…

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